Why Variety Matters 0
Posted on 26, February 2018
in Category Tips
You don’t need to eat the same foods every day to achieve good health. In fact, research has indicated that individuals who eat a wide variety of foods, especially whole foods generally have better health. Variety matters and here is why.
There are 20 different amino acids that form to make proteins. Roughly half are nonessential, meaning they can be manufactured in the body, while the rest are essential, which must be obtained from the diet. Each source of protein in the diet provides a different amino acid profile. Animal sources of protein are considered complete, providing adequate levels of essential amino acids in varying amounts per serving. Non-animal protein sources are incomplete, meaning they provide some, but not all the essential amino acids per serving. Therefore, eating a variety of protein sources, especially non-animal protein sources is an important way to ensure that you get all the essential amino acids.
Grain foods can be derived from any numerous sources such as wheat, rye, oats, rice, corn, etc. The grain and how the grain is processed will determine the nutritional content of the product. As an example, a corn-based tortilla has as different color, taste, texture and nutritional profile than that of flour-based tortilla. Grains are an important source of fiber, B vitamins and carbohydrates, which are needed for energy. Varying the source of grains in your diet will provide the diverse nutrients that each of the grains offers. Furthermore, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that half of your gain servings come from whole grains sources. Whole grain foods are richer sources of fiber, minerals and healthy fats.
Fruits and Vegetables
You’ve probably heard dietitians say that you should eat a “rainbow” of foods, meaning incorporating fruits and vegetables of all colors. The rationale behind this advice is that the color of a fruit or vegetables is linked to the types of nutrients, contained within that food. For example, orange foods, such as carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash all contain beta-carotene and vitamin A, which support the health of our eyes and our bones. Leafy green vegetables typically contain folic acid, vitamins A, C, and K, and act as antioxidants in the body, which helps protect and preserve cell health. Incorporating foods from a variety of colors will ensure you receive a good balance of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) that are essential to supporting good health.
So, go ahead, mix up your routine. Try a new food this week or a new recipe. Variety matters.